Yamaha SY35

Yamaha SY35 Image

The Yamaha SY35 is a bit unique in that it is a Vector Synthesis system, combining FM and AWM sample playback voices to create sounds suitable for virtually all kinds of music. It features significantly expanded memory capabilities over the SY22. It has an extremely large database of over 128 AWM sampled sounds (you cannot add more) and around 256 FM waves. Waves and samples are combined and edited with a roller/joystick (the vector wheel). At a time when Yamaha was making the switch from FM synthesis, which ruled their synths of the eighties, to AWM and AWM2 synthesis in the nineties, the SY35 represents a model that was on the cusp, having one foot (or pair of oscillators actually) in each world.

Programming is an extremely tedious affair, as all values are modified via the "-1" and "+1" buttons. But the SY35's sounds are extremely good, providing high-quality sounds such as those found on the Alpha Juno 2, and the DX7. The synth also features an 8-part multi-mode, for easy multitimbral setups. Ultimately, while an extremely difficult synth to program, the SY35 offers a huge amount of capability for a relatively low price tag. Use this synth for epic pads, deep basses, screaming leads, and raging hoovers.

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25 Visitor comments
September 30, 2010 @ 10:20 am
In the FM-oscillators the only parameter that can be edited is the feedback, although they are real 2-operator FM parts.
It took me a little time to find out, but via editing software you can completely edit all off the 2-operator FM-parameters! Any sound that can be made by a 2-op FM can be made on the SY-35.
Don't expect this one to be your main workhorse, but some real nice extra sounds can be added to your songs. After all they are sold 2nd hand for real bottom prices now, so why not give it a try?
May 3, 2010 @ 3:54 pm
oh yeah and one excellent point is that it is super lightweight! (weighs much less than my 49key novation ks)
May 3, 2010 @ 3:50 pm
Kinda cheesy but decent sounds. Worth it for the 61 keys, with aftertouch, and the basic FM/AWM combo.

(Thing is im stumped to how to save presets, and the velocity sensity is restricted to like 30-80 instead of 0-127?)
synth player
May 2, 2010 @ 12:39 am
great little work horse, very reliable unit, base is made of steel, unlimited sounds, full MIDI useful at this time when everyone is switching to software instruments still a very good controller, good unit to add some nice ornaments to your live or recording performances, Alex Jansik uses this unit for live and recording
Izera Stephen
March 21, 2010 @ 8:01 am
This is the most "beautiful" synth I have ever heard.
Its very smooth spacious, dark, theatrical and epic.
This thing takes me places.
The only other synth I have heard that can do this sort of thing is the SY55, they are a very complimentry pair as I have both.
Sits very well in a mix and the built fx are great.
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.87 (259 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 16 voices, 8-Part Multitimbrality
  • Oscillators - 2 FM Operators & 2 (AWM) Digital Acoustic Sample playback oscillators.
  • LFO - 4 LFOs
  • Filter - None
  • VCA - 4 Volume-Only Envelops
  • Sequencer - None
  • Effects - 16 Digital Effects (Delay, Reverb, Reverb/Dist. Combo, etc.)
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (w/ velocity and aftertouch)
  • Memory - 64 preset and 68 user patches, 16 Performances
  • Control - MIDI In/Out/Thu
  • Date Produced - 1992
  • Resources & Credits
  • Retropolis.

    Reviewed December 2007.

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